The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a much needed Bye week as they prepare to take on the win-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home.
In Atlanta’s last outing on Monday Night Football, the Geno Smith led New York Jets rolled into the Georgia Dome and shocked Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. I know that game shocked me. Surprised me how well New York’s defense did against Matty Ice.
Anyways, Atlanta suffered a big hit offensively when they lost Steven Jackson for around six weeks at the beginning of the year and now have ride through the remainder of the season without Julio Jones.
Tampa Bay on the other hand has been in the headlines a lot recently. From releasing their former starting quarterback Josh Freeman, their MRSA outbreak and are currently win-less and may stand little chance against this Falcons defense.
Tampa Bay’s defense was picked apart of Philadelphia Eagles back up Nick Foles last week in a 31-20 loss. They allowed Foles to pass for nearly 300 yards, three touchdowns and were unable to pick him off despite having one of the most talented defensive back corps in the game.
Matt Ryan has thrown for 1,649 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Ryan threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns in his last game but his defense wasn’t able to help him out.
Tampa Bay’s leading passer now plays for the Minnesota Vikings. But rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has stepped up in two games, throwing for nearly 500 passing yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Atlanta is currently 1-3 in the division with the win-less Bucs right behind them.
Atlanta currently ranks 2nd and 26th overall in passing/rushing offense and 26th and 6th overall in passing/rushing defense.
Tampa Bay ranks 32nd and 20th overall in passing/rushing offense and 16th and 13th overall in passing/rushing defense.
Now as far as predictions for this game, the Falcons are going to have to prove that they still have what it takes to compete for the division crown and a spot for the playoffs. Right now they’re not looking like the team we watched nearly reach the NFC Championship game last season.
With Ryan and this second overall passing game going up against the 16th best in the league, he needs this defense to bounce back and help him out a little bit. If Foles can pick against this defense, Ryan should have no trouble doing it at home, but right now this game is too close to call.
This game will truly be a defensive battle. Who can get to the quarterback the quickest to disrupt plays, who can force the most turnovers and capitalize on them. I would have Atlanta winning this game out right but by the way they played against New York and now having to play without Julio Jones, it changes a couple things.
Glennon is going to have to be consistent and find his targets, taking what this defense is going to allow him to take. The offensive line needs to protect him and open up the running lanes for Doug Martin who currently has 409 rushing yards and one touchdown on 116 carries.
As far as the final score goes for this game, it’s pretty tough to say but, I think Atlanta finds a way to get it done. It may not be a blow out win, but a win is a win no matter if it’s one or two points.
Atlanta Falcons 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13
Of course Ryan leads the team in scoring with two touchdown passes and Glennon finds the end zone once as both kickers get a little work in.
Tampa Bay 42 O/U
Atlanta Falcons -6